Newton International Academy, Qatar

Newton International Academy is one of the top international primary schools in Doha, Qatar, teaching the British Curriculum to around 1000 students. In 2020, like many schools around the world they closed the school buildings from March and have been teaching a combination of in-class and online lessons to continue delivering their curriculum. 

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1. How are you using this resource?

We use it for Year 1 through to Year 6. We find that some of the children in Year 1 are a little too young for some of the questions, the material isn’t 100% relevant to them but mostly it is suitable. If we have a child who is underperforming in their class, we make our observations and discuss our concerns with the class teacher. Depending on those concerns we would then use SNAP as a screening tool, and then sit down and meet with the parents afterwards to discuss next steps.


2. What are the main benefits of the resource?

SNAP has made a huge difference in our school. Having the report from SNAP is a very useful tool in our discussions with parents because it is evidence of the areas where we have concerns. It also gives us a better way to target the specific needs of those children. Once we’ve run SNAP and reviewed the Areas of Strength and Weakness we then target those particular areas as best as we can. Each case is very different, but we usually run it first 6-8 weeks after the beginning of the school year and then re-assess towards the middle or end of Term 3 to check that those targets have been reached. Many of our children have English as an additional language and might need that time at the beginning of the school year to re-build their English reading skills and settle back into a school environment. This gives us the opportunity to clarify whether it’s an EAL problem or a specific learning difficulty. From my past experience I would usually be able to identify over a period of time whether a child has dyslexic tendencies or whether it stems from an EAL difficulty. If we feel that it’s more from a specific learning difficulty, then we would run SNAP as a screener.


3. Have you found the resource easy to use?

We find it very easy to use. There’s a really nice variety to it, and the children actually enjoy doing it. They don’t see it as a test per se, they’re comfortable doing it. Our older children are very aware if they’re having difficulties so we can say to them that we’ll be using the tool to identify the areas where they need support, and then put strategies in place to help them. For the younger children, we tell them that we’ll be running it with them but we don’t go into as much detail. I then share the reports with the class teacher, we have a meeting and discuss the results to try and put in place the strategies we’ve agreed. We prefer not to use the Home report as we prefer to bring the parents/guardians in for a face to face meeting and share and explain the core profile to them. We like sharing the profile with class teachers and parents because we can come in with the weaknesses and the strengths. The layout of it is very well done.


4. What did you not like about it?

The questionnaire for the class teacher is a little repetitive and with some it’s hard to gauge what’s being looked for.


5. Would you recommend this resource to other schools? Why?

Yes, we definitely would. I think it’s a useful tool, it’s something concrete to work from. Rather than just giving my personal view, I have something independent from the school. It’s also helpful to support SENCOs and teachers where there’s a difference of opinion.


6. Any other comments:

Being out of school so much this year has been very unsettling for our children so we have delayed our use of SNAP until after they’ve had a chance to settle back into school life. We usually have to allow for a lack of spoken and written English over the summer holidays and this is similar.

The biggest thing for us is having the written evidence. This is hugely helpful in communication with parents, especially in an international school context.

SNAP (Special Needs Assessment Profile)

Online tool to profile specific learning difficulties and behavioural difficulties.

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